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E-M:/ FW: Urgent Alert: Oppose Sinister Amendment

Title: Message
Here is an opportunity to take action....


--- On Thu, 2/5/09, Michael Replogle, Environmental Defense Fund <TakeAction@edf.org> wrote:
From: Michael Replogle, Environmental Defense Fund <TakeAction@edf.org>
Subject: Urgent Alert: Oppose Sinister Amendment
To: "Holly Glod" <hollyglod@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 5:21 PM

From Environmental Defense Fund

Dear Holly,

Earlier this week, we asked you to take action to defeat an amendment to the Senate economic stimulus bill that would have added up to $50 billion for a massive highway system expansion, increasing sprawl and traffic congestion.

That amendment is still pending, but thanks to your support, it is now much less likely to pass.

But, right now, the Senate is considering an even more sinister amendment offered by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).

This amendement would essentially waive America's core environmental law, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), for all projects funded by the economic stimulus.

Take action now to help defeat the Barrasso amendment.

NEPA is the 1970 law signed by President Nixon that ensures that individuals and communities that may be harmed by major federal actions have advance notice of the project, an opportunity to comment, and information about the impacts of the proposed project and alternatives to it.

Before NEPA, state highway agencies, utilities, and other authorities routinely destroyed people's houses, farms, parks, and communities with little advance warning to build new roads, dams, and power plants.

We urgently need your help to flood the Senate with actions opposing this amendment.

A vote could come any time, so please act now.

After you take action online, please call the Capitol Hill switchboard to ask to speak with you Senators: (202) 224-3121.

Here are some talking points:

  • Senator Barrasso's amendment would require stimulus-funded projects that do not have environmental reviews completed within 270 days of enactment be automatically considered to have "no significant impact" and exempt from any additional review process.
  • This amendment would not expedite, but waive the NEPA review process, especially for the largest and most destructive projects.
  • Allowing projects to proceed without considering the potential impacts of those actions could lead to a host of unforeseen and irreversible consequences to public health, energy independence, and environmental sustainability.
  • Senator Barrasso's amendment would severely curtail the ability of citizens to get involved with projects that could significantly affect their communities.
  • There are many shovel-ready projects with all necessary state and federal environmental reviews in hand than are funded in this bill, so a waiver of such reviews, including NEPA, is unnecessary.

We need to do everything we can to protect America's bedrock environmental standards by defeating this disastrous amendment.

Please act now.

Thank you for your activism and support,
Michael Replogle
Transportation Director

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